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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 4:00 am    Post subject: Dress swords and daggers of the 3rd reich         Reply with quote

Recently i got my hands on the book by harvey j s whithers and tobias capwell 'the world encyclopedia on swords knives and daggers'

and one section that i never expected to see anything interesting to me that invariably has caught my eye was the section on dress knives and daggers, and dress swords made for the officers of various military and civil branches of nazi germany, two models ive fallen in love with two examples from the wide variety of blades, one is the dress sword for luftwaffe officers the other is the form of the dress dagger for the german SA and SS

with hitlers election to power in 1933, it seems germany sought to reinvent itself which is why alot of german stuff, uniforms, and the like from that era are so unique and often VERY stylish the daggers, othen they use new materials for fittings (the luftwaffe swords crossguard is made of aluminium in many cases rather than steel.

http://www.snyderstreasures.com/eBay/Images/2...CN3457.JPG
the luftwaffe dress sword takes the form of a medieval arming sword with wheel pommel

the SS and SA daggers on the other hand are based off of the holbein dagger aka the baselard.
http://www.historicalimagebank.com/gallery/ma...agger.html

the dress dagger for the SA is more or less the same design as the one for the SS, with the organisational emblems being different except its more an earthy brown/ natural wood-grain look on the handle.

which is a refreshing change from the endless sea of smallswords, cutlasses, basket hilts, plus cavalry and mamluke sabres that dominate the swords worn by the officers of western armies during that time.
aside from japan who in ww2 replaced the more western sabre with a more traditional japanese sword for their officer class.

by the way i should point out the examples of german dress daggers that look stunning doesnt end there, all in all it seems that the 3rd reich definately had a great seat sense of style and grandeur when it came to these matters.

and luckily my local flea market has a vendor who among the wallhanger katanas and cheapy 'helicopter fantasy sword knockoffs, the stall has a ffairly wide selection of knockoffs of german dress daggers at a fairly cheap price, around 30-35-40 dollars im not pretending that these are even neccesarily GOOD replicas and definately not antiques but they still look amazing , in fact she has pretty much every example listed in tobias capwells book on knives and daggers, which i like.

the only probblem with having and buying and displaying such items is the hefty amount of infamy associated with the nazis would invariably result in people giving you wierd looks.

but im curious if anyone has any examples in their collection of either antiques or reproductions, and whether those whoes interest in militaria extends to the 2nd world war have had any uissues getting/ having stufff from the germans, whether repros or antiques.



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SS dress dagger, model from 1933

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German World War Two Early Silver Luftwaffe F. & A. Helbig / Gaefler Marked Officers Sword
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 7:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My experience has been that the collection of anything Nazi-related is stigmatized beyond all reason and that the chance of severe unpleasantness is extremely high. This is unfortuneate, as the German military, both pre-Nazi and WWII-era, had an incredible sense of style and a propensity for bringing back to life mythic and archetypal forms that is unmatched by any other military (except possibly the Japanese.) I find it odd that the collection of Japanese war relics carries no similar stigma. I think that you should be able to collect what you want, and that aesthetic appreciation of historical objects need not have any connection to political beliefs. I have strong feelings on the subject that often arouse equally strong feelings in others, so I am trying to be very careful what I say.

Edit: As to the Luftwaffe sword with aluminium guard, I love early aluminium stuff. IIRC, by WWII the cost of production of aluminium was going down, compared to it's almost precious-metal status in the late 19th/early 20th. I love the almost futuristic look that the German weapon-designers of the 30's and 40's managed to synthesize with the mythic and archetypal aspects, creating some of the most beautiful weapons ever created. I think that the use of aluminium is a detail that just really goes well with the style.
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 10:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's an original Luftwaffe Dagger by AlCoSo that used to be in my collection. In this country (the UK), collecting this type of thing maybe does not have the level of stigma attached to it that it does in the US. Freedom of speech in the UK does not extend to Neo-Nazis and they are a much less visible element in society (that's not to say we don't have our own breed of racists and nationalists!). Originals of these are openly sold, in surprisingly large quantities, at arms fairs all over the country, as well as all manner of Third Reich militaria. They are rightly seen as military curios and antiques.

Let's not forget that the regime that created these items has been thoroughly crushed and discredited. Only the occasional loon, in this country, would consider reviving that particular creed, and it would be a very short-lived revival at that.

It has always been difficult, for reenactors, to play the 'bad guys', but I think most people who visit WWII events in this country are genuinely curious about the 'bad guys' and see them mostly as the combatants they were, just on the wrong side!!

At least that's true of the Wehrmacht/Luftwaffe. As for the SS, well, that's a different matter, even now.....



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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 11:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Woodruff wrote:
My experience has been that the collection of anything Nazi-related is stigmatized beyond all reason and that the chance of severe unpleasantness is extremely high. This is unfortuneate, as the German military, both pre-Nazi and WWII-era, had an incredible sense of style and a propensity for bringing back to life mythic and archetypal forms that is unmatched by any other military (except possibly the Japanese.) I find it odd that the collection of Japanese war relics carries no similar stigma. I think that you should be able to collect what you want, and that aesthetic appreciation of historical objects need not have any connection to political beliefs. I have strong feelings on the subject that often arouse equally strong feelings in others, so I am trying to be very careful what I say.

Edit: As to the Luftwaffe sword with aluminium guard, I love early aluminium stuff. IIRC, by WWII the cost of production of aluminium was going down, compared to it's almost precious-metal status in the late 19th/early 20th. I love the almost futuristic look that the German weapon-designers of the 30's and 40's managed to synthesize with the mythic and archetypal aspects, creating some of the most beautiful weapons ever created. I think that the use of aluminium is a detail that just really goes well with the style.


several of my friends have similar views, lamenting that the germans style was as you say badly tainted by the nazi political ideology since otherwise alotof their stuff was nice.

as ive always said, they were crazy but at least they had style. (doesnt excuse said genocidal craziness btw)

as for the wallgander replicas at the market the thing thats barring me is whether i feel like foking out the money since im really tight in the purse strings right now otherwise id buy a few
they have a RAD hewer, a SS dagger, an army officers dagger and a state official dagger plus i think the 1937 luftwaffe dagger all are crappy wallhangers but it captures the style of the originals well enough to be worth the money

one thing that was a clear trend in germany in the 30's and 40's combained with the recent national socialism rising i think meant that like japan, germany seemed to have this attitude of starting from scratch not to mention there was a need to restore public confidence after the reparations from ww1 and then the depression which is i think why the nazis rolled out all these new designs, according to tobias capwells book on daggers anyway.

the state military dagger with its eagle pommel and white pearly grip is my third favorite out of the whole bunch.

and in the military sphere i think this philosophy largely worked out for them in the opening years at the vary least, i think the germans had the most advanced forces in europe at one point employing the blitzkrieg which allowed germany to carve out a lot of territory pretty quickly

one curiosity about the SS dagger in the FPS game medal of honour airbourne, the SS dagger is used to replace the normal melee strike when you fully upgrade the MP40...
so instead of whacking them with the gun itself, you stab your enemies with a dagger (ouch) only when i got the book did i realise its significance
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 12:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I guess I see items from the larger German military as one thing and antiques or items from the SS as another ball game.

I wouldn't feel comfortable with this stuff and certainly can't imagine anyone I know having a positive reaction when seeing such things (cringe)
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

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PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you just like the design of the Holbein type, and if the reproduction's fittings are steel, you could salvage the hilt (with reworked grip) and remount on an Atlanta Cutlery "Arkansas Toothpick" blade for a nice dagger without the stigma.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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J. Hargis




Location: Pacific Palisades, California
Joined: 06 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Germany's Boker still makes a very nice, similar Holbein. Even a Damascus, ebony version.

Jon



A poorly maintained weapon is likely to belong to an unsafe and careless fighter.
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Sat 08 Sep, 2012 2:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

the reproduction you usually see, even though its something you usually can pick out of bud-k, i don't really like it. as a knife for construction reason. a friend of mine has the whole collection of WWII era nazi knifes their nothing special. however i an attracted to the Holbein styled knife. its grip is perfect in the hand. if your going for a Holbein that has that same look without the nazi feeling to it. i do recommend Boker even though it is pricy for a production knife. you can go after a similar A&A holbein styled knife for nearly the same price.

i've gone to a few gun shows in the past years and seen both the ss ($$$) and and the lesser brown knife. mostly dealers want (X) amount more money just because it's the black ss dagger. i've though about picking one up - but i just can't put my mind around the fact of what the ss did and what that blade may have seen, what those symbols stand for and how they've been corrupted. i don't feel comfortable with something of that nature in my collection, because of the attitudes it inspires from misguided people that sill cling to a dead mans madness.


it was in a post not long ago about someone wanting a norse tatoo and i brought up the unfortunate reality of what those symbols now mean. it was put best by another member here of how the nazi part destroyed what was once a beautiful culture of art and symbology.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Sun 09 Sep, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hmm thats the odd thing, i personally am not phased much by the swatika or the SS symbol i know exactly how nasty the nazis got. i guess im just comfortable in the fact that i see it as just a nice looking dagger etc which outweighs the nazi symbolism issues case in point the stall also has a germanic ish smallsword like wallhhnager item because its a smallsword i dont want anything to do with it because i dont like that type of sword. which magnifies the negative aspect of the nazi and such symbols.

it really is shameful how that whole mad regime which made so many amazing and stylsh pieces of militaria happened to also be so nastily evil and almost permanently taint the stuff they made.
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